This band has been going strong since the year 2000 and currently comprised of members Aret Madilian, Beatrice Valantin, Gerard Madilian and Maria Bjorlingsson. The band spans the old and new world (Los Angeles and France) and includes touches of musical styles and instruments modern and ancient as well including various synths, guitars, percussion and the ancient wind instrument, the duduk which takes a prominent role in many tracks. The music is hard to classify, spanning many different genres, mainly a taste of world, alternative, dark wave, touches of ethereal and ambient are definitely there as well. As far as bands to relate to, the most prominent would be Dead Can Dance though Deleyaman really has much more of an alternative style than the world music foundation that the former has embraced over the past several years and last few albums.
The discography from this band is impressive and growing strong with seven full-length albums as of the writing of the latest reviews here. They released their series of 00/1, Second, 3 and the duo of Fourth - part one and Fourth - part two before breaking the mold and releasing The Edge and The Lover, The Stars & The Citadel. Along with all of these albums, the band has managed to pull together a few small tours mainly in the west coast area of Los Angeles and surrounding cities, but also have been able to tour and play several locations in Europe including local venues in Paris as well as Armenia. With their latest album the band continues to transition in styles and grow in various ways as well as get out and play more shows. With these releases we're happy to have this band here on the pages of Gothic Paradise and look forward to more releases and live shows.
The Lover, The Stars & The Citadel - Review
Continuing to grow, transform and create great new music, we have here the latest work from these talented artists. Building on their dynamic combination of alternative, folk and ethereal styles, we're presented with eleven tracks that span these genres and a mix of french poetry as well as original lyrics.
As we delve into the album and the various layers of lyrics, vocals, instruments, emotions and so on, at times it feels like we're just floating on top of a vast sea of beauty and others just rambling along the simple path of life. The ebb and flow of the album works well as we start with the french poetry of "La Plaine" and then gradually immersed into the alternative folk sounds, culminating in a climax in "Secret Treasures" with a grooving bass, simple, yet moving percussion and soaring guitar. The politically and socially charged lyrics stand out a bit more on some of these pieces, while at other times the listener can just soak in the simple and beautiful nature of the music. In fact, immediately following this edgy piece we're presented with "Galaxy" which is a nice duet of male and female vocals acros a minimalistic ethereal backdrop. This ebbs and flows, giving way to another soft and sweet french piece "La Mer Et L'Amour" and the album continues to move along. These tendrils of ethereal beauty grace more of the album across soft electronic soundscapes, various old-world instruments and subtle plucking guitar. The somber vocals from one piece to another add a sort of dreamy quality and a softness to the musical tapestry.
Overall, the softer ethereal pieces stand out as favorites for me, though most tracks stand well in their own light. The album is a great combination of old and new world wed together for a nice result. At times somber, at times beautiful, and always enjoyable.
The Edge - Review
Here we have the latest release from these dynamic, talented artists breaking away from the previous series of numbered releases. Along with the title shift, we also see a slight change in oveverall style from the soft ethereal and ambient moods of the "Fourth" series, we find the band adding more percussion and electric guitar for a bit of an "edge" to the music making the title of the album just that more appropriate. With thirteen all new tracks we have another great, full album to enjoy from this group.
Right from the start we see the slight shift in style from this band with the grinding electric guitar over the somber, yet moving percussion, though the soothing male and female vocals of Aret and Beatrice remain a foundational sound over the layered set of guitars, synths, bass and percussion. Though present in previous releases, we see a little more up-front political and socially charged lyrics in this album, bringing out more of a neo-folk element to match the alternative musical styles. The band has also come out quickly with a pair of videos for selections from this album which the reader can see by visiting the band's home page and also through various links we've shared here and on our facebook page.
Again to just touch on a few highlights of the album, there are so many excellent selections to choose from, the entire album is noteworthy and it's hard to narrow down to a few to highlight here. "Hey Now" hails back to the softer and simpler minimalistic styles from the previous releases and is definitely a favorite. With Aret taking the lead on vocals, his smooth, soothing voice is the solid anchor of this piece as soft guitar slowly moves as the musical backdrop. "Castles In The Sand" shows a shift and dynamic change in the style with a mix of piano and percussion providing a bit of a jazzy trip-hop rhythm. The presence of the duduk and mix of male and female vocals ground the track in the classic style from this group that makes it instantly recognizable as Deleyaman. "Mental Horizon" is another piece that really shows the more dynamic and moving styles with heavier percussion, guitar and solid vocals. Immediately following this powerful piece is the soft and somber track "Weight of Things" finding Beatrice taking on the lead with soft ambient music as a back-drop creating an intensely emotional piece. Moving on a bit we're treated to the appropriately named "Ethereal Dances" with a soft and beautiful ethereal style with the percussion moving the piece along but taking a place in the background allowing the vocals and somber guitar to take the lead creating a dynamic and spectacular piece. "Cygnus" and "Beatrice 1" are stellar in their own light and lead up to the excellent finale in "Outspoken". This piece is probably by far the most "main-stream" sounding track with it's steady rock beat, yet still so very Deleyaman with the quirky synths and the solid vocals of both Aret and Beatrice taking turns and creating a nice harmony on the chorus.
There you have it, another dynamic and captivating album from this talented group of musicians. Fans of all of the various related genres from folk, dark wave, ethereal and softer alternative have something here to enjoy, pick it up, it's worth it.
Fourth - Part Two - Review
Finishing their numbered series of releases we are presented with this second part to the fourth duo. In this work we find the band continuing with their mostly soft and ethereal approach to their alternative music. Spanning eleven solid tracks we have a great album of soft, soothing and healing music.
The album starts off with the same somber moods we enjoyed with "part one" of this series. The music is dreamy with soft guitar and a solid bass creating the backdrop canvas to the artistic approach of the mix of male and female vocals. Overall these vocals are soothing and mesmerize the listener as we drift along from one softly moving piece to the next. While the percussion builds and creates a powerful accent on several pieces it never becomes over-bearing or distracts from the ethereal beauty of the songs that are evident should maintain that soft, peaceful feeling. These somber pieces drift along starting with "Change Things" as the opener to the album lasting nearly eight minutes slowly building in intensity yet keeping those same somber tones, while drifting off into the next piece "Three Islands" definitly has a more subdued mood at least at first as Beatrice takes the lead with the vocals. As the piece moves along and builds to a dynamic climax we have her vocals in the background while the solid bass, various guitars, the duduk and even the harmonica coming together over the softly, moving percussion for a dynamic piece. These introductory pieces give us a taste of the dynamic range this band is capable of and that this album contains.
As with all albums we tend to pick out a few favorites, though with this as with the previous, it's great to just sit and listen to the entire work from start to finish. The transition between pieces and dynamics add a nice layer of introspection as well as variety to the music and overall mood. Choosing selections from this album was difficult as so many stand well on their own. The soft and heart-breaking sounds of "Let the Wind Blow" create a captivating piece that has quick become a favorite with the soft and beautiful female vocals over a fairly minimal ambient approach with no percussion. In general I think these soft, ethereal pieces definitely fit well here on Gothic Paradise regardless of male or female vocals, their somber moods and soft ambience are captivating and enjoyable. However, that doesn't mean the more intense or upbeat pieces are excluded as favorites here. "Owl" is an excellent example of this, while it starts off simple and soft with the female vocals taking the lead with minimal instruments, but it soon expands and builds to a dynamic crescendo with the music matching the intense emotion-filled vocals and lyrics before slowly dropping off again leaving the listener heart-broken and breathless. "Sweet Space" is also a little more upbeat track with Aret taking lead on the vocals creating a smooth, soothing sound over the backdrop of soft guitar at first. As the track moves along, Beatrice joins in for a sweet duet and the heavy percussion moves the piece along well, again building to a nice dynamic crescendo adding an added layer of emotion to the already moody piece.
While these are just a few highlights, the entire album is really quite captivating. With the overall somber moods driving it all, this is a true gem and addition to our collection here and the Gothic Paradise airwaves. Fans of the softer, ethereal soundscapes in the dark wave, ethereal and world genres will love this album.
Fourth - Part One - Review
This marks the band's fourth studio album and is appropriately named so, based on the previous titles of 00/1, Second and 3. Here we have another great work comprising their stunning mixture of world, ethereal and folk music. It comes presented in the form of eleven stunning pieces lasting just under an hour. During this hour of spellbinding music we get to hear the different sides of this band as we drift through ethereal bliss to the colder, starker sounding pieces. While the soft and dreamy dominates most of the album with Beatrice's soft vocals floating over the mixtures of mesmerizing music, Aret takes the lead on some of these and remarkably much of the same blissful sounds remain prominent.
As we sit down and listen to the album we can pick out these various styles and moods. It all begins very dreamy through the ethereal sounds of "Book of change", very soft and slowly moving. This is the more prominent sound on the album as we drift along through "Roses" and the heart-wrenching sounds of "Be Still", and on through "Fill my heart". All of these pieces really hold the listener entranced in their ethereal ambience. The folk and world styles with the various acoustic instruments come out more prominently on "Stay on" with Aret's smooth tenor vocals, later on "Aravod luys" and "Traffic Lights". A couple of pieces have the colder, darker feeling to them, including the somewhat more gothic oriented piece "Temples" with the added percussion and driving rhythms.
It's hard to name favorites on this album, but listeners to our ethereal show will no doubt pick out some of them. Both male and female fronted pieces hold my attention well with their excellent compositions and performance. "Book of change" definitely stands out as a beautiful piece, as well as "Be still" and "Fill my heart" with the soft ethereal styles with the haunting female vocals. The final track on the album "Arev tibav" also has quickly become a favorite with it's captivating ambient background and Aret's soothing male voice. However, the album should be listened to in it's entirety to capture the full package and the entire mood and each time the listener is bound to be pleased.
Labels: TTO Records